Studs at the Pussycat Adult Theater is Moving Due to High Rent Increase

1968
Studs at the Pussycat Theater

Studs at the Pussycat adult theater, located at 7734 Santa Monica Boulevard, is currently looking for a new home. A sign announcing its availability has gone up at the x-rated multiplex theater, which has operated as the Studs Theater since 2006 (prior to that, it was the Tom Kat theater).

Omar Fiori Cassing, who owns the theater with his husband Max Cassing, tells WEHO TIMES, they did not renew their lease, which is up at the end of the year. He said the rent has been raised too high, so they are looking to move to a new location.

“They are asking too much for rent, so we are moving out,” he said. “The owners, who we sold the building to, have raised the rent twice since we were allowed to re-open after COVID, so it is time to find another location. We are hoping to stay in West Hollywood, we just don’t know where right now. It’s no secret that we are leaving, but we plan on re-opening. We are not closing, just moving to a new place.”

Studs at the Pussycat Theater

The rent increased has trickled down to their customers this past year. General admission is currently $28–an increase from $23 last year.

Cassing says the theater had its challenges during the COVID-19 shutdown and it is now facing a new uncertainty as monkey pox cases continue to rise in Los Angeles County. “We see a change because of monkeypox,” he said. “Businesses is up and down. The theater goes days where it is very slow then somedays we pick up. We see a big difference in attendance. Everyone is scared of monkeypox.”

Studs at the Pussycat Theater

Another challenge the theater is facing is problems with public safety, especially with individuals experiencing homelessness who seek shelter inside the theater, “We see a lot of problems in safety around here lately,” he said. “If we call the police, the first thing they ask me is, ‘is the person homeless?’ I learned that if I say yes, it takes them forever to respond, so now I tell them I don’t know, I didn’t ask for their address.”

One incident escalated to where he was assaulted.

“In all the years that I worked here, I have never been assaulted and then one guy wanted to force himself inside. I told him he had to leave and he started punching me. I did not hit him back. I had cameras that caught the whole thing. It’s getting pretty bad around here. It is time to move somewhere else, maybe something smaller. This space is way too big.”

Cassing has owned the theater since 2006. He also brought back the Pussycat name and repainted the historical dancing Pussycat on the marquee.

Studs at the Pussycat Theater – Photo by Paulo Murillo for WEHO TIMES

The Studs Theater opened in 1940 as the Monica Theatre. It showed foreign films as the Monica International in the 1950s. By the mid-1960s, the Monica started showing soft-core porn. It moved to hardcore porn by 1969 under the Left Bank Theatre. It became the Pussycat in 1970 and goes down in history as one of the first theaters to show porn classics like “Deep Throat” and “Devil in Miss Jones.” The front of the theater still has the hand and foot prints of porn legends like Linda Lovelace (1973) and John Holmes (1985).

The Pussycat went gay for pay and became the Tomkat Theater in the 90s. It was rebranded as the as Studs in 2006 and is now also known as Studs at the Pussycat. Cassing brought back the Pussycat name and repainted the historical dancing Pussycat on the marquee.

The Studs is the only Pussycat theater left standing. It is one of two porn theaters that remain in Southern California. The Tiki Theater, a much smaller venue, is located at the opposite end of Santa Monica Boulevard near the 101 Freeway.

The move Studs at the Pussycat Adult Theater, is yet another end of an era.

For more history on the Studs Theater in West Hollywood, visit this fascinating theater blog: https://losangelestheatres.blogspot.com/2017/03/monica-theatre.html.

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Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings over 20 years of experience as a columnist, reporter, and photo journalist. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. His work has appeared in numerous print and online publications, which include the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, where he covered breaking news and local events in West Hollywood. He can be reached at editor@wehotimes.com
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Green Roots
Green Roots
1 month ago

Unfortunately, this is not an accurate depiction of events of why the theatre is leaving. The author should have done more homework; the answer was easy to discover with a phone call or two. Cassing should be a storyteller, like JRR Tolkien or JK Rowling.

Curiosity, what would the neighborhood like to see take the place of the theatre, specifically or in general?

Last edited 1 month ago by Green Roots
Caleb
Caleb
20 days ago
Reply to  Green Roots

so, what’s the reason then? Don’t leave us in suspense.

Karl
Karl
15 days ago
Reply to  Caleb

Read recent Google reviews …you’ll get a clue!

Curtis
Curtis
1 month ago

$28 for admission????

Tom Smart
Tom Smart
1 month ago

The city should buy it and let it sit unused like everything else they buy until it deteriorates then sell it to one of their developer cronies to bulldoze

Ron
Ron
1 month ago

That neighborhood has changed. I forget the Pleasure Chest is across the street. Where does a gay porn theater go? It sounds to me like they’re closing for good.

Jimmy palmieri
Jimmy palmieri
1 month ago

Rage, gold coast, cousins lobster, subway, Starbucks, and so many more are gone. Now this???? SO VERY SAD.

Curtis
Curtis
1 month ago
Reply to  Jimmy palmieri

Don’t forget Flaming Saddles, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Five Guys, Hamburger Habit, Bossa Nova, Fubar etc….